What happens in an online functional assessment?

Cassandra Doyle, Occupational Therapist

What do I need to have available at home?

A stable internet connection is important. If you don’t have this available at home, consider using a local library, visiting friends or family, or another alternative.

A smart phone, ipad or laptop can be used. A device with a camera will allow us to see you during the Zoom meetings, and further help the assessments. If you do not own any of these devices, ask somebody if they can lend you a device. If you’re not confident using technology, we suggest you have somebody with you to help.

An email address will help us communicate with you in a timely manner, send links to telehealth appointments, and we can send you assessments and resources. We also email the report to you and/or your nominated contact/s. 

We currently use Zoom for all our telehealth sessions with clients.

What happens before the appointment?

Before the appointment, you will receive an email notification with the initial meeting date and time. There will also be a link to access the Zoom meeting. Before the initial occupational therapy  appointment, the expected timeline and hours/cost will be discussed with you. You will need to sign a service agreement if you have NDIS funding. 

What happens during the appointment?

You are likely to have a couple of appointments as part of the functional assessment. The first assessment will gather information about your disability, and how this affects your daily tasks. Further assessments may include more formal assessments, such as standardised questionnaires to answer. The occupational therapist may also need to visually observe tasks related to your functional capacity. This will be further discussed on an individual basis. 

Examples could include: 

  • observing you transfer from sitting in a chair to standing up
  • observing you making a cup of tea and/or a light snack
  • observing your ability to put on items of clothing, such as a jacket or shoes with laces
  • observing your range of motion by asking you to move your arms, hands, head, legs, etc
  • observing your fine motor skills with tasks such as handwriting, using buttons, etc 
  • observing a cognitive task such as planning a few meals and writing a shopping list
  • observing how you move in your home environment and any barriers you face
  • observing how you use certain equipment and mobility aids 

What happens after the appointment?

In between sessions, your Occupational Therapist will write notes and record outcomes of the assessments and observations. Your Occupational Therapist will also plan what further information and assessments are needed for the next session. After the assessment phase is completed, your Occupational Therapist will complete the report. This report details the outcomes of the assessments and therapist observations, along with recommendations to support your to achieve your goals.

Want to know more about online functional assessment with Umbo?
See our article “Online Functional Assessments”